‘Fill the Truck’ toy drive supports local Salvation Army


by Michael Bush, - fbush@civitasmedia.com



Donating a toy for the Fill The Truck toy drive is Melissa Chmielewski, left. Walmart store manager Russell Shoemate is center, and at right is local Salvation Army Major Ben Walters.


The Salvation Army is once again working with Walmart this holiday season to help provide new toys and coats to local children on Christmas. The drive is part of the 125th annual Red Kettle Campaign. The “Fill the Truck” toy drive is being hosted locally at the Altus Walmart today and tomorrow, Dec. 4 and 5, as well as Dec. 11 and 12.

In addition, the Altus Walmart store is a location for the Salvation Army’s red kettles and bell ringers this holiday season. The kettles are way that the Salvation Army collects much-needed funds to support their social services at Christmas and year-round. Last year in Altus, Walmart helped the Salvation Army raise over $15,000 locally, contributing to the more than $144.7 million raised nationally in the Red Kettle Campaign. All donations made to the red kettles in Altus will remain in Altus, and help the Salvation Army provide food, clothing, shelter, financial assistance and other services to more than 1,500 people a year.

The “Fill the Truck” event is running nationwide on select weekends and at select Walmart stores. It is open to anyone who would like to donate new toys and coats for the children who take part in the Salvation Army programs year-round. Upon arrival, shoppers will receive a list of suggested gifts to help fill the trucks at the store (there is one at each entrance of the Altus store). Once the donation receptacle is full, The Salvation Army will bring the donations to their Christmas Center, and distribute the gifts to local children in need. The collection is expected to provide gifts to more than 400 children.

“This holiday season, we’re proud to work with the Salvation Army and help provide food and clothes to our neighbors in need,” said Kabir Kumar, Senior Director of Community, Walmart. “With strong support from our generous shoppers, we know we can bring smiles to more children this season.”

A major focus of this year’s national Red Kettle Campaign is to encourage Americans to share their reasons for giving using #RedKettleReason in social posts. Everyone who donates to the “Fill the Truck” drive or one of the Red Kettles is encouraged to share his or her own #RedKettleReason. Those who share their #RedKettleReasons online through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube can see their posts on RedKettleReason.org. New this year, The Salvation Army is awarding one lucky winner an all expenses paid trip to New York City for a nationally televised “Giving Spree” to shop with Nick Cannon for toys and necessities for children in need. To enter, supporters are asked to share a video on Twitter with their #RedKettleReason using the hashtag #GivingSpreeSweeps. For more information, visit RedKettleReason.org.

“Each child who benefits from the Fill the Truck drive is another reason to support this event,” said Major Ben Walters of Altus. “Thanks to our partnership with Walmart, we’re able to make Christmas special for families and children who need help – especially this time of year.”

For more information on the Salvation Army, please visit facebook.com/SalArmyAltus or salvationarmyaok.org/altus or email ben.walters@uss.salvationarmy.org

Donating a toy for the Fill The Truck toy drive is Melissa Chmielewski, left. Walmart store manager Russell Shoemate is center, and at right is local Salvation Army Major Ben Walters.
http://altustimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_FillTruck.jpgDonating a toy for the Fill The Truck toy drive is Melissa Chmielewski, left. Walmart store manager Russell Shoemate is center, and at right is local Salvation Army Major Ben Walters.

by Michael Bush,

fbush@civitasmedia.com

Reach Michael Bush at fbush@civitasmedia.com

Reach Michael Bush at fbush@civitasmedia.com

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